March issue no. 257
May 2016 issue no. 258 The Decks and Outdoor Projects Issue


On Sale: March 15, 2015
Subscribers should receive this issue by March 7th.

On the Cover:
Frame a safe, solid deck

Kitchens & Baths 2015:
Read the issue online.

View the digital issue




Articles
Page
CRITICAL DECK CONNECTIONS
by Justin Fink
A look at the forces at work on a deck and the hardware designed to keep things in check

Project House Video Series: Ultimate Deck Build 2016—The Critical Connections

38
INSTALLING A MINISPLIT
by Patrick McCombe
What you need to know about choosing a minisplit heat pump and ensuring that it’s set up correctly

42
BRIGHT IDEAS FOR A WELL-LIT DECK
by Glenn Mathewson
Make your deck safer and more enjoyable with good lighting

47
BUILD A BUDGET-FRIENDLY SHED
by Justin Fink
Get ample storage and traditional styling on a budget of just $2000

52
TOOL TEST: FINGER-SAVING TABLESAW
by Kevin Ireton
We test SawStop’s new portable tablesaw

56
BRICK FIXES
by John Carroll
Afraid to tackle cracked bricks? Dye some mortar for a durable and invisible repair

60
STRONGER, SMARTER DECK STAIRS
by Steve Baczek and Mike Brussard
The ideal stair stringers balance strength, durability, and ease of assembly

66
GOLDEN STATE GATEMAKERS
by Ben and Charles Prowell
Two master craftsmen share their secrets to lasting garden gates: proper wood, proven joinery, and durable hardware

70


Departments

Page

CONTRIBUTORS

12
LETTERS
View all letters

14
HOW IT WORKS
Simple wood beams

20
TIPS & TECHNIQUES
Tool for Removing Caulk
Separating Buckets
Pegboard Upgrade
Cart for 12-ft. Siding
Cold-Weather Epoxy
Brush for Dirty Hands
Spring-Clamp Upgrade
Straight Cut in Plastic Sheeting
A No-Tip Stool
Pipe-Soldering Blast Shied

22
TOOLS & MATERIALS
Monster Circular Saw
Affordable High-Perfomrmance
Eye in the Sky
Deck-Fascia Fastening

28
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
Utility-Knife Blades

34
PROJECT GALLERY
Little House on the Ferry

Project Gallery: View or post your own projects here

76
ASK THE EXPERTS
Ledger mounting
Good cabinets in a bad kitchen
Replacing fasteners
Preventing floor squeaks
Overlaying decking

80
ENERGY-SMART DETAILS
Two Ways to Insulate an Old Cape

86
BUILDING SKILLS
Placing a Small Concrete Slab

Mastered in a Minute Videos: A Small Concrete Slab

88

DRAWING BOARD
Traditional Sheds

92
TAILGATE
Charles King Sadler: Landsape Designer

Web Extra: Extended interview

96
FINISHING TOUCH
An Elegant Addition

98